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June 23, 2008
Canada Day fireworks safety tips
Prior to the Canada Day weekend, the City of Toronto’s Fire Services would like to remind the public how to avoid fires, injuries, and property damage through the misuse of fireworks. In 2007 Toronto Fire responded to 55 fires caused by the improper and unsafe use of fireworks. Fire crews have already responded to 22 fireworks-related fires this year.

Fireworks are not toys; they are, in fact, powerful pyrotechnic articles capable of causing serious burns, significant material loss, and even death. Toronto Fire does not recommend backyard fireworks, or informal neighbourhood displays. Instead, we strongly suggest that the public attend fireworks displays organized by trained professionals and responsible organizations such as the municipality.

Staying safe while using fireworks involves following these vital safety tips:

1. Purchase fireworks from reliable sources.

2. Always read and follow the label directions.

3. Fireworks and sparklers should be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer. Ensure that children are unable to access these materials.

4. While children make a perfect audience, they should never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling all fireworks materials while spectators watch from a safe distance.

5. Only one adult is required to ignite fireworks. Fireworks are not meant to be handheld.

6. Prior to igniting the fireworks, they should be buried at least halfway down into a bucket of sand or earth. If portable firing bases are not available, plant them directly in the ground making sure each piece is firmly supported before igniting.

7. Always have water on hand (garden hose and bucket) to soak fireworks that continue to smolder after firing.

8. Light fireworks at arms length, standing back and keeping your face away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for several minutes and then douse it with water.

9. Sparklers should also be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time, and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing, or nearby combustible material. Do not use indoors.

10. Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

11. Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

12. Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

13. The adult igniting fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of their body over any firework.

For more information on fireworks, visit our website at:

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact: Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338 -0763



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